1 Thessalonians 1 Lesson

Faith, Love, and Hope


1 Thessalonians is the second of thirteen epistles written by the Apostle Paul between 49 and 67 AD.  

A chronological listing of Paul’s epistles is as follows: 

  1. Galatians 49 AD,
  2. 1 Thessalonians51 AD,
  3. 2 Thessalonians 51 AD,
  4. 1 Corinthians 56 AD,
  5. 2 Corinthians 56 AD,
  6. Romans 57 AD,
  7. Ephesians 60-61 AD (During 1st imprisonment under house arrest),
  8. Colossians 60-61 AD (During 1st imprisonment under house arrest),
  9. Philemon 60-61 AD (During 1st imprisonment under house arrest),
  10. Philippians 62 AD (During 1st imprisonment under house arrest),
  11. 1 Timothy 62-63 AD,
  12. Titus 63 AD,
  13. 2 Timothy 67 AD (During 2nd imprisonment in Rome).

**Dates are approximations based on the consensus of theologians and historical records.

Many of Paul’s epistles were written to address specific concerns in specific cities

However, that was not the case with Paul’s two letters to the Thessalonians. Paul was pleased with the reports he had received concerning the faith of the Thessalonians, as evidenced in the following scripture:

  • “You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.” -(1 Thessalonians 1:6-7)


In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul mentioned three things about them that he is thankful for:

  1. Their work of faith,
  2. Their labor oflove,
  3. Their steadfastness of hope in Jesus.

In today’s lesson, we will look at each of these Christian virtues in more detail, and then the lesson will be yours.  


There is a difference between working and a work of faith. 

Secular work is usually motivated by financial payouts for goods and services. 

Works of faith, however, are done to please God and areguided by the scriptures and the Holy Spirit. 

The Hebrew writer defines faith as follows:

  • “Faith Is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” - Hebrews 11:1

When we act on our faith, remarkable things can be done!

God rewards those who put their faith in Him, as highlighted in the following three scriptures :

  1. “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” - Colossians 3:23-24,
  2. “And without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” - Hebrews 11:6,
  3. “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” - Galatians 6:9.


A labor of love is doing something that you love to do with joyin your heart

When you see somebody who loves what they are doing and believes it to be important, they have a certain glow about them.

Christians should have this joy whenever we are doing the work of the Lord, because we know there is nothing more important that we could be doing with our time.


In addition to giving thanks for the Thessalonian’s works of faith, and their labors of love, Paul also gave thanks for their steadfastness of hope

Hope is a belief that something good awaits us in the future

Being “steadfast in our hope” means that we stay faithful during challenging times

The Bible is clear that all of us will face adversity

We also know that God disciplines those that He loves (Hebrews 12:6 and Proverbs 3:12).

Our Father allows us to suffer so that we can mature and grow in our faith. 

Paul wrote about this in his letter to the Romans:

  • “Not only so, but we also glory in oursufferingsbecause we know thatsuffering producesperseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:3-5.

Being steadfast in our hope means that we will not be deterred regardless of the circumstances that we are in. 

Paul understood this, and that is why he was so pleased to hear about all the wonderful things that were going on in Thessalonica.  


Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians commends them for:

  1. Their work of faith,
  2. Their labor of love,
  3. Their steadfastness of hope.

These are three things that all Christians should strive to have.

If we are acting in faith, doing something that we love, and willing to persevere through whatever difficulties come our way, God will use us to accomplish great things! We will also be a great example to those around us.

We will end today’s lesson with the following scripture:

  • In speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” – 1 Timothy 4:12.


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1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?


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Virtual Bible Study™

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?